How young people are coping with type 2 diabetes

Some health experts have warned that poor eating habits and little exercise have contributed to a significant increase in type 2 diabetes diagnoses among young adults.

Individuals who develop the chronic condition early in life may have a number of health and social barriers to address.

A recent article published by USA Today reported that males who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 30 are estimated to have a lifespan reduced by 14.5 years, and females' life expectancy is shortened by 16.5 years.

Indiana resident Mike Durbin told the newspaper that he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure at the age of 24. Now, although he has lost 40 pounds and is leading a healthier lifestyle, he's still hesitant about having children. He said he has a fear of his offspring developing the disease or him experiencing early death and leaving his future wife to raise them alone.

However, he finds support and encouragement through his blog and Twitter account, which he uses to learn how others with type 2 diabetes cope with the condition.

"There's definitely a huge mental health component to living with diabetes and congestive heart failure. It's a whole lot to deal with at one time. Most of the inspiration and encouragement I get comes from the online diabetes community," said Durbin, quoted by the news source.

Massachusetts resident Alexa Hammes told the news provider that she has shed two clothing sizes and has better control over her type 2 diabetes since starting a diabetic diet and exercise regimen.

She said that she rides her horse to stay active and uses the diabetic recipes offered by a program she joined at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Her favorite meals are a turkey-and-bean wrap and salsa chicken over whole-wheat pasta.

Diligent diabetes management can help individuals regulate their blood sugar levels and avoid complications of the disease.

In addition to following a diabetic diet, people with type 2 diabetes should stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and may also consider lifestyle changes to help them reduce daily stress, the American Diabetes Association recommends.